A JOURNAL AND TRAVEL OF JAMES MEACHAM
Part I. May 19 to Aug. 31, 1789.*
May 19. Tues. This morning my all lies in the hand of
my Glorious M aster. I think since God thrust me out in to
his vineyard which was October 1787, I have travelled exten-
sively — First, I travelled one Quarter in Sussex Circuit in
Virginia — from thence to Oronoque Ct ISTorthcarolina where
I stayed about 5 months — here the Lord wonderfully carried
on the work of regeneration. From thence to Bartie Ct
(in the same State) here I was much afflicted but travelled
about 6 months in these parts. Many Soules were brought
to God. From thence I removed into Hanover Ct Virginia
where God remarkably revived his work and from Confer-
ence April 20 I was sent into Grensville Circuit Virginia.
JSTow I believe my poor Soul is taken another wing for Hea-
ven. Lord give more grace.
Wed. 20. To-day I preached to a small concourse of Peo-
ple, my idiars is but shallow yet I trust there was a word
dropt in Season, Lord let fruit thereof be found at the last
* Rev. James Meaeham, the author of the following diary, was born in
Sussex County, Virginia, April 7, 1703. lie was the son of Joshua and
Anne Lee Meacharu, his mother being a relative of Richard Henry Lee. Ac-
cording to family tradition he served in the Revolutionary War, and the
papers in evidence of this were destroyed by fire. In the fly-leaf of the
diary he says he was "born of the spirit April 14, 1787, and began to
travel on the Itinerant plan with the Methodist Oct. 1, 1787." However,
the Conference Minutes show that he was admitted on trial in 1788, and into
full connection in 1700, being assigned In the lattr year to Orange Circuit.
In 1791 he was ordained Elder but served Williamsburg Circuit that year,
Pamiinkey Circuit In 1702, Mecklenburg Circuit in 1703, and Portsmouth
Circuit In 1794. In 1705 he was appointed Presiding Elder to the Guilford
District, and to the Tar River District in 170G. In 1797 he was located,
having married Mary Seward, of White Plains, Brunswick Co. To them
nine children were born. In 1820 James Meaeham died in Mecklenburg
The diary will prove of value to all who are interested in early Methodism
in the United States. Of especial interest is its strong anti-slavc-ry feeling.
"O America, America, blood and oppression will be thy overthrow," exclaims
the author, and the sentiment is reiterated several times. Quite In harmony
with It Is the fact that James Meaeham was never happier than when
preaching to the blacks.
The author of the diary was also a personal friend and admirer of Rev.
James O'Kelly ", Indeed he seems to have travelled some circuits In O'Kelly's
district before he was admitted on trial In 1788.
For scurlng the diary The Trinity College Historical Society Is Indebted to
Rev. W. W. Rose of the North Carolina Conference. The part between
September, 1780, and July, 1791, has been lost. In hope that It may be found,
the division of the diary into two parts has been made, part II to be published
In the next series of Historical Papers. — Wit, K. Boyd.
A Journal of James Meacham 67
Thur 21. This day I met a small congregation, but little
or no liberty in speaking unto them — this remark is hard to
account (for) for about three years ago this part of Mclenb-
burg County was the flower of Virginia for Religion but now
coldness and Dullness seems to overshadow the people, if
I may be allowed ray sentiment is this — that hateful bloody
name of oppression, I say the spirit of blood, kills the life
of love and liberty.
Fri. 22. I preached with but little liberty. I met the
class, here the Lord wonderfully met with us; after meeting
this, I met the Childrens class, separately by themselves.
O how tender their little hearts was, a time of spilling of
tears — Lord give great success to this constitution.
Sat. 23. This morning I rode to my appointment, brother
and Sister Taylor with me. Now the Lord began to break
asunder the clouds of Unbelief, this was a time of grace.
Sun. 24. This Sabbath I met a larg concourse of people,
the power of God was upon the people — weeping was on every
Side. I hope the Lord will carry on the glorious worke of
Mon. 25. Here I met a small concourse of dear people
waiting to hear the word of the Lord. To whom I cried
ye will not come to me that ye might have life ! Weeping all
around, by this time Hell had call up her forces and made
a bold attack upon Israel's camp and began to drag out the
Slain in Zion by force, our united cries repetedly was ex-
torted for her Soul (a young Woman) until Satan made a
small retreat then we boldly inarched forward, and took the
slain (or wounded again). O the cries that she extorted was
enough to reach the heart of the most obdurate. Lord give
deliverance to the oppressed.
Tues. 20. Nothing great here, Lord revive thy work.
Wed. 27. This day I preached to a happy people.
Thur. 28. Here I met with some few good Christians
' Z^nope — before preaching began old bro. Melone came up
68 Historical Papers
stares, to me and opened his heart freely. I helieve it is an
honest one. Slavery lie ahominates
Fri. 29. the strength of my body failes. I preached
with much pain of body — I met the Society then the Chil-
dren. that God may give us success in this and every
point of Christian devotion.
Sat. 30. this day I preached to a small attentive Con-
gregation of People, in the Evening rode home with Old
Bro. O. Myrick of Brunwick County — it is something amaz-
ing, I think, he is now with his wife a numerous Age, without
any Child, an immence Fortune and yet is as Bloody op-
pressor perhaps as may be found, we have had a litt-
le Conjecture upon Slavery, but to no Satisfaction at all.
O how much good might this man do for God, — but perhaps
it may be said Tush God doth doth not regard. — Or foolishly
immagins in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hidth his face;
he will never see it. Psa. 10-11. But when the Lord mak-
eth inquisition for blood, he remembered them. He for-
getteth not the cry of the poor Humble (or) oppressed.
Sun. 31. This day I found a large assembly of people
awaiting for me to which I cryed What is man that thou
art mindful of him or the Son of Man that thou so visitest
him? uncommon attention overshadowed the people. Noth-
ing great only some few outcryes for Mercy.
Mon. June 1. this Day I think we had a Smart war, our
Enemies seemed to get ground ; but when Israel prevailed,
the little camp went forward. Several persecutors Slain,
and boldly cryed Men and Brethren what Shall I do to be
Saved. Some found refuge in the blood of Christ.
Tues. 2, here I meet with our Bro. Lewis Griggs, who was
once an Itinerant preacher in the work of Methodism, but
now Locative, he stood in my place and preached from I
Ep 3-22 Beloved, Now are we the Sons of God; and it doth
not yet appear what we shall be but Ave know that, wijcrft
he shall appear, we Shall be like him, for we Shall see him-
A Journal of James Meacham G9
as lie is. A time of Rejoicing among the Saints, Some few
a crying for Mercy; in the Evening we had Meeting. I
sang and prayed, by this time crying was on every Side,
after 3 Hours struggling in ernest prayer the Lord set 2
Souls at liberty to praise him.
Wednesday 3, this day I find but cold incouragment.
Thursday 4 Here I met a Small congregation — little or no
Stir, the Class in this place (I fear) is about to be broken —
the Devil is about to sow the Seed of Discord among the
Friday 5, this Day I preached a Funeral Sermon over a
little babe near Bartie, where I had formerly rode in time
past. Many of the Dear Bartie Bretheren came to hear me,
a time of Love and Happiness, great was my consolation
to find so many of my Bretheren in the lord was yet on their
journey home; in the Evening I rode home with Sister
Saurey in Bartie Ct — where I met near two hundred pre-
cious Souls, only hearing I was coming, to tarry one evening.
I called unto them for Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus
Christ etc — a time long to be remembered I hope with many;
here I met with a poor Backsliding Sister. My face was a
terror to her. I began to Labour with her, and to remind
her of the Goodness of God in once pardoning her Sins; the
Tears began to fall down her poor Blushing face. While I
was preaching I called out upon the Backsliders and bad
them venture the second time upon Jesus, that he was still
on his Mercy Seat interceeding for them, that he had there
a massy Crown of Glory for them if they would but come.
Conviction fastened upon her Soul, but cryed the Dove of
Heaven was Shut against her. I told her ventur her Soul
on him, he had promised to heal the Backsliders and love
them freely. — the Congregation broke. She still continued
to cry in the Bitterness of her Soul, Lord wilt thou love a
Backslider — I thought prayer might prevail on God. I
Called upon the brethern for prayer. The Lord soon came
and broke every chain and set her at liberty to praise his
70 Historical Papers
Glorious Name. O may She ever Stand faithful unto the
Sat. G. This Morning I feel the infirmities of my poor
body almost too great for me to labour. I rode for 9 miles
in much pain of body where I found a few Souls awaiting
for me. I Spoke from these words of St. Paul: But of him
are ye in Christ Jesus &c. The Lord was present with us.
Sun. 7. this day I preached to a large concourse of people.
The power of God Avas much upon them. Shouts and crys to
be herd on every side. — I strove to meet the Class, but
could not, the Lord would not let me, he willed the people
should praise him. Several join'd Society.
Mond. 8. the great power of the Lord was with us —a
time of melting love.
Tues. 9. Ilode to Smiths Church in Northampton County
Northcarolina, in this place the Gospel is preached in So
many Different lights, that the Devil Sows the Seed of Dis-
cord, to the great and unhappy Spoil of Methodism ; a few
precious Souls met me, to whomo I cryed, Submit your-
selves to God and, Satra! weeping w;; on every Side, but
how long Avill these impressions last. — For the Fruit of
^Righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace:
Wed. 10. the Glory of the Lord appears, my Soul is Kept
in peace thro Jesus. —
Thur. 11. This day the Lord met with his people.
Frid. 12. 1 met at this place some of my Strange Breth-
eren in the flesh, with Several other of the Oronoque Breth-
eren, where I had an Opportunity of hearing from the work
of the Lord in that part — (in) almost every Quarter of the
Earth, in America the Glorious work of Methodism Seems
to prosper. — I preached to this people at 11 Oclock, as I
expected to preach again at 5 about 8 Miles above. — the Lord
with power applied the Truth to the hearts of the Dear peo-
ple. Several down whose cry was for Mercy. About 2 I
left them after meeting of large Society. Thro much pain
A Journal of James Meaciiam 71
I got to my second appointment where I found a little
solemn attentive concourse of people to whom I cryed, He
that cometh to God must believe that He is and that he is a
rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Uncommon at-
tention but no greater good perceivably done, by this my
poor Nerves and whole system was relxt. Lord how
is it, that my bodily Strength is so extraordinary.
Sat. 13. Bless God. his work seems to move progressively
on. In the evening word came that I was to meet brother
Paup at Bro. Myricks at his Evening Meeting. I attended
but he never came. I endeavored to prove that the Son of
Man came to Seek and to save that which was lost. I felt
a heart full of love, for the dear People, but I know not
whether there was any good done or not.
Sun. 14. I set out early for my next appointment (by
the way I met with Bro. Paup, which gave me much Satisfac-
tion at Oronoque Chapl. where the people in general flocks
out to hear the Word of the Lord. I expect this Day will
he held in rememberance thro Eternity, Several Souls Born
to God; in the evening 1 rode 10 Miles and spoke to the
dear Black Bretheren, which my Soul Delights to do. (Sev-
eral White Bretheren came also) the Lord Jehovah was
present to help in time of Need. I think a time of sweeter
power I never saw. Several Souls I trust powerfully deliv-
ered from the Bondage of Eniquity.
Mon. 15. this day I preached a Funeral Sermon over
Mr. W. on the South side Oronoque in Mclenbnrge Co'y.
I disremember whether ever I spoke to more attentive peo-
ple in my travels or not, but no other incouragement. yet
perceivable, God I believe stood uncommonly near to help
the willing in heart; after Preach'g rode home with Sister
Elexandor, a Comfortable place for the poor Body. O how
weak and feeble is my poor System. Lord, Strengthen thy
Stripling, make him humble and faithful.
Tues. 1G. this day I met a melting congregation of peo-
ple, the Aweful presence of God was sweetly with us. — I
72 Historical Papers
met the Class there, proceeded to speak to all such as was
not of our Society, as is my general rule While I was Speak'g
to a young Woman, beging her never to persecute the people
of God again, her heart bursted into an Agony of Distress,
the Dear Lord speedily came to her relief. In a few Moments
a poor Backslider Professed to be reclaimed. My Soul
Rejoices every hour of my life when Zion Prospers.
Wed. 17. this Day I thank God, his dear presence was in
every heart almost; in the Evening we had a comfortable
Prayer Meeting, my Soul grows in Grace Daily, bless God.
Thur. 18. Rode 10 or 12 miles where I met a few Solemn
People, a time of love, one Soul born to God, in the Evening
Watch or night an uncommon power of Darkness opposs'd
us. Several Mourners, but no deliverance.
Fri. 19. a small concourse of people. I strove to meet the
Class. O how sweet the Lord filled my cup. — O for more
faith and love, at the feet of my Master I dedicate my little
Sat. 20 this day my Soul feels grief from Various Quar-
ters. 1. Satan hath Defiled some of the dear children of
God 2, an Uncommon coldness among the Bretheren. O
how short the Professors of Godliness are of Watching unto
Prayer and continuing in the same with Thanksgiving — in
the evening held Meeting at a Neighboring Sisters House,
the Prayers of the Saints was Jointly sent up to God. We
had a little Time of love.
Sun. 21 this Sabbath I met a large concourse of People
at this place I was inform' d the people behaved uncommonly
bad. — When I was about to introduce my Discourse (which
was from Rom. 2:41 — 2) I cautioned them and beged their
attentions, declaring unto them the beauty of Solemnity
and attention, both in the Antient and the Young. — Thus
I proceeded to my Doctrine, and was much comforted in
declareing unto (them) the Word of Truth. — I disremem-
ber that I saw but one Soul, but appeared to be thoughtful
of Eternal things (this Man is bent to opose, having neither
A Journal of James Meaciiam 73
Wit manners nor breeding.) One of our pious Brothers
strove to Reconcile him (by reasoning) but the Satan was
raised, until our bro. told him, the Law was made for the
Lawless and not the Righteous, which stopped him, I be-
lieve from further Mischief. I met part of the Class and
Jesus met there with us. — Rode home with Bro. Joseph
Speed, Mclenburge, comfortable Accomodations for the
Mon. 22. this morning my mind is much Disordered, that
God may burst the cloud and keep me humble, rode to my
Stage where I found twice as many as I really expected ;
to whome I cried, the Snare is broken and we are escaped;
weeping was on every side, many good and Divine impres-
sions upon Antient and Young, but O how long will these
Tues. 23. this morning the weather is very warm. I rode
Several Miles and spoke with much inability of soul and
body; after preaching, I held Love feast and a time of love
indeed. Lord carry on thy works. Amen.
Wed. 24. at this time I bless God for a prospect of a
revival of religion in general around this Circuit.
Thur. 25. a time of Power among Saints and Sinners.
Frid. 2G. here our Dear honest Hearted bro. Seward v
broke the yoke of oppression from off of his poor Slaves. J
that God may make it a growing work. Lord, I trust
for more faith and love. This Evening Bro Minter Deacon
of Brunswick Co came to Quarter with me on his way to
our Q. M. It was a time of love and great power. — He shew
me some of his Journals which was rendered very Satisfac-
tory to me, his manner of Journaling gives me a more profit-
able idea. I must acknowledge my Journal carries but little
of my own Spiritual Exercise with it, but for the future I
feel resolved to Write more in full.
Saturday 27. This morning we set out for Roanoak
Q. M. — a large concourse of people. Bro. Minter preached
from these words of the Apostle, Grow in grace — and a time
74 Historical Papers
of grace indeed. Several souls born to God. In the Appli-
cation my poor Soul broke out in strong desire bis perfect
will to prove. O what a time of Joy to my beart it was —
a heaven begun below — not a cloud did arise to darken the
Skies or hide for one Moment my Lord from mine Eyes.
This evening we (the preachers) stayed at old Sister Clan-
tons — a time of Grace to our dear Souls.
Sunday 28. at 9 Oclock the love feast began, the house of
the Lord was crowded with Christians, a feast of love in-
deed — the dear Lord soon met with us, which occurred to
my Mind the year of Jubilee. Christians filled with the
presence of God, Mourners a lying at the pool and Jehovah
aperfecting his Saints below — in this time my Soul was
filled with anxiety for the Kingdom — praise God my Soul
and forget not all his Benefits.
Monday 29. rode home with bro. Cooke, this day my Soul
is measurably stayed on the Lord.
Tuesday 30. Much backwardness and dullness of Soul,
this state as urksome to me as Dungeon is to the poor Male-
factor — bless God, when the people began to approach the
House of Prayer my Soul began to breake its gloome, a
few happy Souls. I Lectured from Isaiah. 35 :50, a time
of refreshment from the presence of the Lord. I felt as
commonly happy, and feel at present bound for the Cilistial
Wednesday July I. This morning many are my afflictions
of Soul, but I confide in my dear Jesus — Lord help an
helpless worm that hangs upon Thee.
Thursday 2. this morning my poor heart and the Cor-
ruption thereof raised more against my Soul. I set out for
my next stage, where I found a few Precious waiting Souls;
I was much more comforted here than I expected. The Class
seems to be unstable, and the Enemy of Souls, looses no op-
portunity but seeks every advantage to scatter tare and slay
— in the Evening rode to Bro. B. T. where I met with my
dear precious bro. II. Jones, a Deacon, and dear bro. H.
A Journal of James Meaciiam 75
Burchet an Assistant. O how good it is for preachers and
People to enjoy Christian Confereences together. Several
of the Neighbouring people came out, we had prayer, the
I;Ord wonderfully met with us, 3 or 4 Souls born to God,
bless God my soul seems uncommonly drawn out after Sin-
ners. I have late information for Bar tie & Portsmith Cir-
cuits — the Lord is at work. O how doth God work in Spite
of all the united powers of Earth and Hell. —
Friday 3. this morning the Spirit is willing but the flesh
is weak. Lord give Strength for the Day. — Now my Bro's
set out for their different Stages, my Soul bids them God
speed. I am now Seated in my little apartment for private
devotion — a small concourse of people met me, the Lord
visited us with power, the Shouts of Israels camp, the cry of
the wounded Spirit was heard afare off — in Family
pray(er) the Lord came and Delivered one precious Soul.
Saturday 4. this Morning my Soul enjoyed sweet union
with God — after riding Several Miles I found my people
awaiting for me to whome I cryed, The Snare is broken and
we have escaped: at this place I felt bound in Spirit.
Sunday 5 this morning I Met a Black class of about 25
Members, a time of Gods power — my Soul was much blessed
indeed among my poor outcast of Men — after this rode to the
Loground Ch : a large Number of Souls met me to whome I
cryed, Ye will not come unto me that Ye might have life.
Sinners appeared to be very hard — after preaching I took
Horse for Sister Clarkes, but was turned back by a heavy
rain — the people still continued within the Ch: we sang
and prayed, now the Lord broke into our Souls a time of
love indeed — thence I took horse the second time but got
very wet, but I know not the Prejudice it may prove to my
body — my Constitution is much impaired — if I never was to
preach again while I live, I never should be the Man in Con-
stitution as I have formily been. O that I had Seven more
Youths I'de Spend them all (thro, grace) for God.
Monday 6. at this place the Lord hath never failed bless-
70 Historical Papers
ing the people Yet. 1 sang and prayed but the Lord over-
powered my Soul with such a Divine Sense and Measure of
his fullness, that I was incapable of preaching, — great was
our Comfort and consolation — my Soul about this time feels
an uninterupted peace with my Jesus.
Tuesday 7. much hardness attend the people, at this place
I felt much drawn out after their Souls. Lord revive thy
Wednesday 8. at 12 oclock I bury'd a Man that died on
Roanoke in a Vessel. — the Evening I spoke again at Sister
Peets. I strove to shew the Rise and Progress of True
Thursday 9. My Soul seemed to be under a Cloud, the
presence of the Lord makes evory Cloud to Breake, and
disperses every Gloom.
Friday 10. this morning the Sea is Still great in my
peace and Constitution.
Saturday 11. here I took horse for my next Stage, a few
happy people, I preached from Ye know the Peace of the
Lord &c — the raptures of the poor Saints was glorious to hear.
Saturday 12. this day I met a large Concours of people.
I spoke from Rom. 4. down to 12. The place was awful
because of the presence of the Lord — my Soul was amply
imprest with an awful nearness of the Judgment — O when
shall this body of dust and my Intellectual Spirit be Sepa-
rated, when shall my Triumphant Soul return to God. Its
my thought at the last day when the restitution of all things
shall be that the Holy Sanctified spirits shall arise, our dead
bodys Shall arise, every particle of our dust shall be raised
a Spiritual Body. O then Shall my Redeemed Spirit cry
out and Say Yonder is the Body which carried my Soul so
many weary steps, yonder is the body that commenced a
Capital Ware, in my members and Spirit, this is the body I
was weary of, but now it is a Spiritual body, now it is a
Holy body. Now it is a Glorious body. Hail thou, once
Mortal but now Immortal Body. Hail, all Hail my Eternal
A Journal of James Meaciiam 77
Silistial Household. Now I feel perfect Union with you,
enter into thy Palace, and redouble thy reunion. Now I
am safe and now I am happy. Not a rival of the least Im-
purity. 4 Souls Born to God today.
Monday 13. this morning a few words past, introduced the
subject of Slavery. I was much opposed to the (same). I
felt much disconsolate. Now took horse for my next stage —
a number of precious dear Souls to whine I cryed Submit
Yourselves therefore unto God. &c. the God of Heaven was
there — crying and shouting was on every Side. One dear
Soul, I hope, borne again, my Soul was overshaddowed with
the awful Danger that Sinners contentively risks them-
selves in. My Cup was a mixture. Evening rode home with
bro Baugh — great is my warfare— indeed heir of this flesh
and body of corruption where shall I obtain Victory.
Tuesday 14. this morning the way appears very narrow in-
deed and few there be that find it. Lord may the least of
all thy Servants find some humble seat beneath the Brides
exalted feet. Rode to my appointment where I found a
large concourse of people awaiting for the word of the Lord.
To whome I cryed, "Ye know the Grace of our Lord Jesus
Christ" &c. Many deeply distressed for the Kingdom of
Wednesday 15. this day the Lord powerfully met with his
little flock — a time of deep distress with Sinners — an over-
flowing time of love with the Christians, here my Soul tasted
the Tree of life. O that I could drop every thought and word
as in the presence of Jesus my great and Eternal Judge of
Quik and Dead.
Thursday 16. this day my Soul enjoys a measure of Gods
presence, it is my Study to live daily for God & the good
of Souls — it is my longest grief that my life is no more
Friday 17. rode to my appointment where I joyfully met
with Bro. Henry Ogburn an Itinerant Preacher — lie spake
from these words. — Strive to enter in at the straight gate,
78 Historical Papers
for many shall seek to enter in and shall not be able — a Sea-
sonable time of Grace — this Evening I went with bro. Og-
bnrn to see the wife of our Old I3ro. O'Kelly Presiding
Elder Virginia — going to prayer before we went away the
Lord powerfully blest my Soul — upon our return to bro.
T. Jones's an eminent place for religion, we had a Consort
of Musick, O how sweet and melodious transport'g and ani-
mating it was. but O if this be so inexpressible glorious,
what hight of rapture shall we know when round his throne
Saturday 18. this Morning I parted Bro. O and out for (
my other oppoint — a few people met me to whome I cryed
Submit Yourselves therefore to God &c. I (had) little or no
liberty in speaking, only a burning fury in my Soul against
blood and oppression — would to God the abominable custom
was buried in Eternal forgetfulness — met the Class, a time of
inspeakable joy to my Soul — this being the Eighteenth day
of the Month which Night of every Month I have covenanted
to watch and pray untill 12 Oclock. It was a time of un-
common Consolation to my Soul. O how little of watchery
unto prayer is found among our bretheren. Lord give dili-
gence to our dear people. Heaven drop the Divine Nature
into our dear peoples Souls.
Sunday 19. this day I spoke to a lage attentive Congrega-
tion of People — a time of love in Class Meeting. I want
more grace and every Qualification for the great Ministry
of the Lord.
Monday 20. a few hearers — little or no light or liberty in
speaking — happy Class meeting, bless the Lord for this priv-
alege, it is worth Millions, this Evening I feel a Strength in
my Soul for more of the Nature of God to be instamped
within me — Lord make me wise to win souls to thee — help
Tuesday 2 J. this morning I feel the capital need for a
closer walk with God. — rode to my next Stage — a few people
Met me to whome I cryed "The Son of Man has come to
A Journal of James Meacuam 79
Seek and to Save that Which is Lost" — the Lord was pres-
ent — a melting time in our Class Meeting — my Soul was
much refreshed to find the little flock progressively moving
Wednesday 22. I feel the great need of faith and love,
which is Essentially necessary to bare up a Soul under all
the Difficulties of this mortal Life. A few attentive people
met mo to whomo I cryed, lie that love life and See good
Days let him refrain his tongue from evil and his lips that
they speak no guile &c. Nothing great done here because of
Unbelief — happy Class Meeting — by this time my bodily
strength fails me, my Soul loaths this body of clay — Lord
stir me to double my Diligence for Heaven, and for the
profit of Souls.
Tuesday 23. this morning my mind is much wondring —
may God, who never fails them who trust him, break every
Obstruction, and let my Soul be staid up (on) his lovely
breast — rode to my appt. where I met with a large concourse
of people, to whom I cryed, what is man that Thou art mind-
ful of him or the Son of man that thou so visits him — a
time of power, happy Class meeting. Met the Children —
their little hearts milted with sorrow, bless God for the
lively prospect we have with the little ones. Lord carry it
on. — evening the dear black bretheren began to sing as they
ware in their cottage. I went to join them, we went to prayer
■ — two of them prayed, much to the purpose, the Lord soon
visited them in an uncommon manner — my Soul felt as if
Heaven was just then at hand, bless God if I mistake not
I never met with these people in my life, but God blest my
Soul with them — I fear many bloody oppressors heart will
get hardened thro the deceitfulness (of) that accursed Sin.
Friday 24. I feel, I thurst, I breathe for more of the
mind of my Master, rode to my appointment where I found
the people awaiting, to whome I cryed Our Souls is Escaped
&c. Ps: 124.7. the Lord was powerfully near, the place felt
awful because of his presence, my Soul was much comforted
80 Historical Papers
in class, — thence I met the Dear little Children, I began with
prayer, the Lord powerfully opperatd upon their little Minds,
a outcry began among them for Mercy and so continued
imtill God sweetly and visibly Delivered two of their Young
Bonis. O the Sweet Shout that Christians Echoed to God and
the Lamb for his kind presence to heal their little Children.
In the Evening met the Black people. O what a time of
Grace this was to my Soul, many of the dear blacks power
fully wrought upon, whose cry was for Mercy. Here God
converted another little dear Child. My Joy in the Holy
Ghost was inexpressible, my heart was filled with Tender-
ness, here my poor body began to fail me.
Saturday 25. this morning I take horse for my next Stage
• — on my way I met with one of our Ilepresentatives Clo J.
J. : after a few sentences of political matter we turned upon
Ecclesiastical matter — he soon opened his Sentiment con-
cerning the Abominable Custom of Slavery — a great advo-
cate for blood — we soon parted — little or no Satisfaction —
So I met my people, here I visibly felt the effects of Last
Evenings Mgs. I spoke from Saint Lukes G. Ch. 19.10. a
great time and season of grace indeed to my Soul and I
hope to many others — this Evening I rode to bro. M. M.
where I met with dear bro. Paup — great was our union
with God and each other while together.
Sunday 20. we parted and repaired to our Different
Stages — this day great was the concours of people which I
spoke unto from Horn. 2, 4. 12. very happy was the dear
people in general — one Soul born again . a tolerable degree
of peace now rests on my poor insignificant Soul. Lord
make more watchful, more Holy, more humble, more pious,
and more useful.
Monday 27. this morning my mind is much perplext by
reason of some Temporal Business. I take Horse for my
next Stage, where I found considerable Number of Souls
awaiting, to whome I cryed wilt thou be made whole — a
sweet time among the Christians. I felt as if God would
A Journal of James Meaciiam 81
make some of them whole in a little time. Met the Class —
the Lord came — Healed one precious Soul. O how my Soul
rejoice — Now I tooke Horse to Meet the presid'g Elder,
for our Diocese — by the way I caled in upon one of our
Bros. W. A. and took a little refreshment, thence we ap-
proached his throne to aske a blessing upon our parting —
Tesus came and sweetly water'd our little Spirits.
Tuesday 28. this morning I feel in some measure discom-
pos'd. rod with Bro. G to hear my father in the Gospel
preach, (I. G.) his text was, And he came unto his own.
and Satra. ! the people seemed to be much blesed. after
preaching Sister W. distressed much my poor Soul, by men-
tioning an old, infamous report over again which the Devil
about 12. months ago was pleased to raise, upon me. I felt
very much discompos'd that Evening thro : rode to Bro.
E. B. I still felt very unhappy, much tempted that not one
of the Bretheren loved me as formerly, I sunk under dejec-
tion, I could not forbare but opened my Mind and Tempta-
tions, to my dear Bretheren. I proved the Devil to be an
infamous lyar. In family prayer the Lord came and broke
the cloud of Hell. O how Sweetly my Soul rejoiced in the
Holy one of Israel. God be thanked for his Grace is freely
bestowed on such a worm as me.
Wednesday, 29. Today I rode to hear my Dear old Bro.
Okelly preach — a large audience of people indeed, his text in
Habikuk 3.17.18. — a time of the outpouring of the Spirit
of the Lord upon the people, my Soul felt a sweet peace in
time of Sacrament. Hode that evening with my old bro.
to Sister Ms — great was our Consolation indeed.
Thursday 30. this morning I set on Horse for my Circuit
again — the rain soon began to fall — many ware my Exercises
on the way — the rain continually falling for about 23 or 4
Miles. I was much lost at times not being acquainted with
the way: so I was water wet. the effects of it I soon felt
but the Lord ever provides — O for grace to keep me humble.
Friday 31. .this Morning I feel much disordered in body
82 Historical Papers
— took Horse for ray next Stage — liere I found many of my
old Bartie Bretheren from fare to see me. I was scarsely
able to preach yet God gave me strength for the day — a
time of grace with the people of God. I was measurably
happy but as common.
Saturday August 1. this morning I find a struggle within
for more gospel grace. Took Horse for my next Stage where
I found a number of precious Souls awaiting to hear the
word of the Lord to whome I cryed, the Lord oppeneth the
Eyes of the Blind, the Lord Raiseth them that are bowed
down, the Lord loveth the Righteous — the people called
Methodist, in the low Grounds of Meheren, are so prejudiced,
against the Doctrine of truth Mercy and Justice, that the
fire of Zeal is nearly extinct. Oppression, that hateful name,
how my Soul is burdened with the accursed Sight — about
this time I had a Sharpe Dagger to my heart, the narrow
hearted professors a backbiting and a slandering the preach-
ers. O that poor blind Bro. A. J. that declares to prove bro.
P a lyar, and to shut the Church door against him. — Good
Lord forgive him, he knows not what he does or says. — well
might our Lord say will ye also go away, may God keep me
humble, and take me to his Self before I ever fall into that
abominable Spirit of Blood. if ever I get rich through
I Slavery I shall esteem myself a Traitor, and claim a part in
Hell with Judas, and the rich glutton — I feel an Holy Ambi-
I tion again Blood, blood, blood. O how it cryes from the
'ground up to God against the poor Antichristian.
Sunday 2. rode to the Lowgions Cr. A nummerous Con-
gregation indeed but theire blind angry prejudices dissa-
fected the word. I strove to speake against that Spirit of
Slandering, backbiting, gain saying and Evil Speaking, one
of and against another. O how the poor hand hung and no
one to bare it up, neither to strengthen the feeble Ne'k. While
speaking the vehemency of the weather and the weakness
of my body overcame me so that I sunk in the desk — there
sat one of our good pious brothers who stood, up and spoke
A Journal of James Meacham 83
in my place, "Help Lord for that Godly Man ceaseth ; for
the faithful fail from among the Children of Men" — Took
Horse for the dear good Sister Clark (a mother in Israel)
we were occasioned by a cloud to call in upon bro. CI. where
my soul was heavy oppressed with sorrow and grief to see
the result of prejudice — he showed me a piece which he
lately wrote against bro. P. Sermon Preached at or in the
Lowgroune Church, — I will Extol thee, O Lord, for thou
hast lifted me up and hast not mademy foes to rejoice, over
me, thou art my rock and my fortress ; therefore far thy
Names sake lead me and guide me, for into thy hand T com-
mit Spirit, for thou hast redeemed me O lord God of Truth,
— O how great is thy goodness which hast laid up for all them
that fear thee. O love the Lord all ye his Saints for the
Lord praiseth the faithful. Good is the will of the Lord.
Monday 3. this Morning the Lord is near at hand and
not afare off — happy time indeed with the Christians, Class
meeting a time of great Grace, — my Soul felt the Holy
Sanctifying Streams of love, unspeakable happy, praise God
of my Soul, and all and every power, every faculty, every
Substance, within me praise the Lord, — In the Evening
most uncommonly and powerfully Tempted — I rarely ever
get very happy but soon after I feel Some thing as severe
all most as the Darts of Hell to my (heart).
Tuesday 4. Took horse this Morning for my next Stage,
a bout a Douzin of my near and dear Methodist Bretheren
with me; it was rather late when I reached my Stage by
reason of a Shower of rain. I was much comforted to find
more people than I ever saw at this place before. I cryed
unto them the Snare is broken &c. Many and loud was the
cryes of the dear people for Mercy. I dont remember
whither I ever saw so general impression to the Number of
people in all my Circuits, the Lord prosper it but who can
tell how long this may stand. Rode home with Sister Peete.
my Soul seems measurably happy, but my whole Sistem
of Nature Seems to be relaxed.
86 Historical Papers
many dear People attends on the word of the Lord. I spoke
from J no. 5-6. great attention rested among the people, a
time of great power — weeping on every side. Persecution
arose very warmly. — in all of this time I felt an uncommon
love for the precious Souls of my dear fellow mortals, we
had a general Struggle for and with Sinners.
Wednesday 12. this Morning I arose with prayer in my
heart to God, but was much oppressed with Heaviness and
Sorrow. Took horse for my next Stage, called in and break-
fast with Dear bro T. L. — we joined in prayer to give God
the Glory of all things. I felt something of the presence of
my Master on my way to my next Stage, I felt very Solemn
and Awful, about 12 oclock I reached my people awaiting.
— after introducing the worship with praise, we with one
consent joined in prayer — how the Lord was pleased to
break into my poor Soul with power. A sweet time in Class
Meeting — I was infinitly in my God. Rode home (this
Evening) with dear bro. A. G. a dear Holy Man of God —
as we rode, we converst about Politicall and Spiritual Mat-
ter, we particularly observed the reality of religion, and that
faithfulness was Required, as an Excellent grace or Qualifi-
cation to resist Llell in all its attempts. So we freely
opened hearts and minds to each other — here was a doore
for every fals Imagination to be removed. — that God may
give me grace always to act to his Glory. Amen.
Thursday 13. this Morning I felt barren, the Need of a
continual looking unto God. — Lord give Strength — I must
now prepare to meet my Adversary and poor Sinners, to
reason and fight for my Master. Took horse for my Stage,
found a few dear people waiting for me. Text was Psa. 146.
8. The Lord openeth the Eyes of the blind ; the Lord raiseth
them that are bowed down, the Lord loveth the Righteous —
Great was our consolation of Spirit. Rode home with Bro.
IT., his children wicked around him. — my Spirit felt in a
measure bound in Soul — no place of retirement — my Soul
was hungry. — T strove to pray as I sat in my chair. So
A Journal of James Meacham 87
persued my business of writing — compleating my little Sys-
tem of Divinity. — this Eveng Bro. E. T. came to see me —
much Comfort and Satisfaction in Eveng Meditation. —
Retired back to the house — Family prayer came on, my Soul
was uncommonly led out after the fullness of God: several
young people (wicked) — O what a feeling God gave me for
them, I prayed and warned them faithfully, and so lay me
down to rest — but the next Morn, they arose and left the
house before prayer. I hope the Spirit of God will not
leave nor forsake them.
Friday 14. this Morning I felt more than commonly
weak in body. As usual I fast and pray fervently this day
of the weak for Zions general prosperity. I took horse with
much weakness of body for Bro. T. T. where our good pious
Sister Jones lives, but few people to hear me. I spak from
Psa : 34 — a season of grace indeed. Met the little class — the
sweet presence of the Lamb was there — after preaching and
class I fell, into discourse with Sister S. J. about Sanctiii-
cation — that blessed work — may God spread it thro America.
She shew me many of her letters from our preachers & people
which began to cindle flame of desire in my Soul for more
of the Mind of my dear well beloved, amongst which she
shewed me one of dear Bro. Okelly's Journals for the year
86 — in the Evening I retired to read it and to embrace prayer
and Meditation — how was it, my Soul leaped as an heart
within me for joy, whin I have clear view of the God —
blest Itinerant plan, the progress of our building here below,
my Soul is lost yea lost I say again, lost for language to de-
clare the Unutterable Joy of Heaven in my heart. — that
God ever take such an insignificant dust as me, and put me
into this most glorious work. Lord how shall I praise thee.
Saturday 15. this morning my poor Soul is happy yea
happy beyond expression — Took horse for the Next Stage,
Old Bro. Easters, Sister Jones with mo. Bro. Samuel
Young a young convert set out to take a tower round the
Circuit with me. O that God may Sancitify an infinite
88 Historical Papers
Blessing to his dear Soul. Lord help me to lay the Example
before him. I arrive to my Stage — a few dear people waiting
for the word to whome I cryed. the Snare is broken and
Satra The Lord was present with us in Class M'g. Rode
home with dear Bro. C. Some comfort in my Evening Med-
itation — Family prayer the Lord broke in in an uncommon
Manner, upon our poor lean Souls — a time of rejoicing.
Lay down to rest happy. Some time in the Night — I judge
near the Middle watch — I awaked in raptures of Heaven by
the sweet Echo of Singing in the Kitchen among the dear
Black people (who my Soul loves). I scarcely ever heard
anything to equal it upon earth. I rose up and strove to join
them — ah — I felt the miserably weight of oppression intol-
erable upon my heart — while the proud whites can live in
luxury and abomination making a mock of God and his word,
the African upholds him by his Swet and labour of his will-
ing hands — and if "they serve the Lord God it must be in
the dead of night when they ought to be taking rest to their
bodys, O blood, blood how aweful it Crycs up before God,
against my poor unjust professing Bro — well I must have
patience — hope God will work for his own Glory.
Sunday 1G. this Morning my whole System of Nature
seems to be confus'd. Took Horse for my Stage — large
concourse of people. I felt umch indisposed to speak by
reason of my indisposition of body, but I dare to refuse —
great attention while I spoke from I Peter 4, 18. None
misbehaved only 2 men that ware ;uore like Ragamuffins,
than Rational Men. I hope there will be fruit found at the
last day. — Rode home with my good bro. and sister J. 0. I
felt uncommonly poorly, therefore I must needs Glory, I
will Glory of the things which concern my infirmityes —
for I have nothing whereof to glory outwardly. Noon will
I pray unto my God for in God I have put my trust — I will
not be afraid what Man can do unto me — this Evening I
had a blessed Shower from Heaven as I lay up stairs mus-
ing on the Glorified State of the Saints — the dear Sister
A Journal of James Meaciiam 89
below began singing these words — O that day when freed
from living I shall see thy lovely face, Clothed in blood
washed lining (sic), How I'll Sing thy Sovereign grace;
it was like fire to a multitude of Powder, my Soul catched
it as lightning, from thence I catched a Bro. just by and
so the second untill we raised a shout to God — a time of
power in family prayer. how I felt for Sinners — O that
dear Mother of mine — what a struggle I felt in my soul for
her. I laid me down to rest in much pain of body.
Monday 17. this Morning as I a wok I felt a rack all
over my Nervous System. God give grace and Strength for
the day — my labour is too hard for the strength of my body
— I dont know that I have thought of living long in the
sweet work but I wish to die in the cause. Yea sometime
I wish to die in the Pulpit. I am now where I expect to
preach today by the grace of God to a few simple hearted
people — I spoke from these words, What is Man &c. Some
degree of liberty but little (or) no good done. Sweet class
Meeting — my Soul tasted the grace.
Tuesday 18. rode to my next Stage bro. T. & bro. O. with
me, few people — I had some degre of liberty in speakings
I felt for Sinners, a time of love, bro. S. R. from Brunswick
Ct. met the Class — this Eving we all had watch Night, good
many people — I thought to have spoke but a little while, and
so for my other bros. to have preached after me. I began
a little after eight o'clock and spoke untill about half after
Ten oclock. O how near the Lord laid sinners to my poor
heart — Weeping was on every side yet none converted —
about 2 oclock we got to rest. My soul is happy in God,
sleeping or waking — Glory to my God — not a cloud doth
arise to darken the skies or hide for one moment my lord
from my eyes.
Wednesday 19. bro. Ogburn spoke for me — my body well
nigh spent — a time of power indeed — in the evening to old
Bro. Melones — here wo had a season of grace.
Thursday 20. this morning I want to be swallowed up in
90 Historical Papers
my God. after a little Breakfast I took a walk under the
green shady Bowers and there spent the time in prayer and
Meditation untill 12 Oclock, then repaired to face my enemy.
To whome 1 cryed these be they who separate themselves,
sensual, having not the Spirit. &c. people behaved badly.
Several stayed in Class Meeting. Some join'd — here a poor
black Man began to get happy with Shouting — a poor young
backslider began to laugh at him, whome I sharply reproved
and asked him if he was not ashamed and told him if it was
me I would go out at the dore if I could not behave no better
— he gave me a silly look grited & gnashed his Teeth and
out he went. I looked for him afterwards but could not
Friday 21. this Morning I feel very much oppressed with
peevishness of Spirit. Ilodc to my next appointment, but
few people — to whome I cryed Ye know the grace of our Lord
Jesus Christ &c. happy Class Meeting — the Evening several
blacks came to meet me, as they cannot come to preaching in
the day they came out many of a night, the Lord pour'd
down his Spirit on the dear people both white and black,
a time of love indeed to my poor Soul. I felt God above
me Soul and body. — O what a heaven I felt within.
Saturday 22. this Morning I feel uncommonly poorly by
reason of the repeted effects of much and hard preaching
night and day. Took horse for my next Stage — I found a
few simple hearted people waiting to whome I cryed Submit
yourselves therefore unto God &c. a Melting time indeed
among the Christians: it was a weight of Gods love like
Eternity. Sinners stood amazed and trembled, wept and
pray'd, O how was it my Soul was so bountifully filled with
God — this Evening rode to meet bro. Minter — with him
came dear bro. IT. Jones one of our travelling preachers, who
was appointed to ride the Banks Ct. got part of his way,
was taken Sick and returned again, — little bro. Pool with
him, a young bro. that I hope my God will make a preacher —
a seasonable time of grace, I hope longe to be Remembered.
A Journal of James Meacham 91
Sunday 23. this Morning bro. Minter and myself met in
Band — my Soul was much blest in the enjoyment of the
Same. I have been often tempted, by the feeling of Nature
and the many oppositions which arise from various Quar-
ters that I was not fit to Stand or Speak for God. — that
no preacher ever was so exercised and tempted as I was,
but the Devil is a liar from the beginning. Every preacher
finds his own trials which are many. Bode to my next
Stage — Number of people — Tjro. Miles Green from B. Ct.
Preached from these words — to make ready a people pre-
pared for the lord — a season of grace indeed. Meeting
this Evening at bro. Droomgols. I began to speak on the
goodness of God to Sinners in puting so many Privileges
into their hands to make there calling and election sure — a
time of power with my Soul.
Monday 24. took horse for my next Stage "bro. M. G.
with me. he spoke, strive to enter in at the straight gate
&c. A great time of love among the people of God — here
I parted with bro. M. G. and rode to my next Stage. Much
soreness in my lungs.
Tuesday 25. few people — a hard Struggle for victory — at
last the cloud broke and the people shouted — Lord carry on
thy work among the people.
Wednesday 26. I preached at Ilixes ford in the Court-
house, few people No prospects — rode home with bro. Jno
Myrick — happy this evening in prayer and Meditation. Fam-
ily prayer — the Lord blessed almost every one in the House
— a great power among the Blacks — may the Lord save them.
Thursday 27. this Morning I feel the need of faith and
patience. Took horse for my next Stage, a few people, I
spake from I Peter 3. 10. 11. 12. Happy time in the first
prayer — a poor man sat as if he was nailed to the seat — I
prayed for him sincerely — as Soon as prayer was over he
took his hat and with resentment went home. — I hope God
will follow him — this evening rode to bro. B. T. — met bro.
II. P. from Bartie. Several of the friends and Sinners
92 Historical Papers
came out to prayer — a time of the power of the Lord among
the people, good News from every Quarter, the Lord 's a
binding Sinners to his Gospel Septre. — I bless God for the
Measure of love I feel toward all Mankind for Christ Sake.
Friday 28. this day I expect to fast and pray. Preached
and Exhort, with all long Sufferings, Sinners to come to
God: a little time of love among the dear people of God. In
the evening rode to bro. Sanreys, Bartie Circuit, Where I met
a large congrgation, to whome I cryed what is Man that thou
art mindful of him or the Son of Man that thou so visitest
him — I divided it into three heads as follows,
1. thus to Show the primevial Rectitude of Man.
2. Consider Man in his state of apostasy.
3. Advance Som Scripture Demonstrations of the visita-
tions of God to Man to bring him unto a State of acceptance
1 opened the first proposition in a few Sentences — In open-
ing the Second head, the Lord poured down his Spirit upon
the people — a general outcry for Mercy and the Noise of
the Shout of Joy. Soon over whelm'd (by) my preaching
I sat me down and sweetly drank into the sweet spirit of
peace, Righteousness, Joy and love. I felt an uncommon
desire for Sinners to come to the knowledge of Truth and
live. O how beautiful and how pleasant an aspect I saw
with my eyes — Several small children happy in the Lord,
aclaping their hands with shouts of Glory to the holy one
Saturday 29. this Morning I feel but very poorly in my
body — Took Horse for my Circuit & Stage again, Several of
the Dear Bertheren with me, — about 12 oclock I reached
my Stage where I found a few precious Souls waiting for
the word of the Lord. I went up stares as usual, but could
not fix my mind upon any particular portion of Scripture
to preach from — I went down and introduced the Solemn
worship of God with Singing and prayer — after prayer these
A Journal of James Meaciiam 93
words run through my mind with Spirit and life — Wilt thou
be Made whole ? Jno. 5-6. I opened it as follows,
1. I opened the wound in the Soul.
2. Pointed out the Phisician and his means of recovery.
3. I shewed what was imployed in being made whole.
4. Inforced the important Question Wilt thou be made
whole — a Small degree of Liberty in Speaking to the first
and second heads of doctrine, — by this time my! bodily
strength failed me — this is Something that I cannot account
for — when my Strength of body fails it cuts my ideas Short
— we had a happy time in Class. Many sweet shouts of
Glory to God: after preaching took Horse and rode to bro.
Ms. — many was my exercises this Evening — I began to read
the Journal of dear Bro. J. Mintern one of our travelling
preachers — it was the first part of his Journal from his Cra-
dle to Manhood and thence to conviction repentance unto
Salvation, and to his Calls to preach the Gospel of Christ.
It attracted my Spirit and finding Something that bore a
witness in my Soul of the reality thereof, that it was ren-
dered an Infinite blessing to my Soul. I retired among the
silent groves to meet with Jesus, to read the Journal, pray
and Meditate — I found time so sweet and precious, that the
silent watches of that night Agt 28&9 witnesseth the Integ-
rity of my Importunity with God. In this sweet space of
time several of the Young Sisters also retired in private
devotion to God, but was soon filed with' raptures of praise
to God, so that the sound thereof was heard afare off.
Sunday 30. this morning I find many conflicts with the
Enemy. Took horse for my Stage where a large Number of
souls appeared with decency — I Spoke from Jude. 19. 20. 20.
In my Introduction I shewed the rise and fall of our old
Church — basted the Hireling well by the grace of God. —
I did not feel the least touch of the fear of men of Devils —
and then proceeded to shew the authenticity of our Church,
its foundation — Its maker and builder is God. 2ndly Shewed
the Separatest Sensual having not the Spirit. 3rdly but
04 Historical Papers
Ye beloved building up yourselves. &c. the Strength of my
body was well nigh spent. I called upon one of our pious
bros. to conclude but he did not speak long before the Meas-
ure of his cup was filled with Joy so that he could not
stand — by this time the Lord was all over the church — I
called for bro. F. C. to go to prayers. O the outpouring of the
Spirit of the (Lord) was great: — the dear black people was
filled with the power & spirit of God and began with a great
Shout to give Glory to God — this vexed the Devil. He en-
tered into the cruel whitemen with violence (who) eagerly
ran into the Church with sticks clubs and caines — abeating
and abusing the poor Slaves them outcast of Men for prais-
ing of God — America how she groans under the burden of
Slavery — Remark — a Magistrate, that has take the oath,
was the Instagator of it — with his blody hand Stretched out
against God and in the hands of Satan his father strives to
prevent the worke of the Lord and establishes vice and Im-
morality. I hope God will by Some turn of providence re-
move him from his office and replace another. — With bitter
oaths and gnashing of teeth he put up a prayer that we the
preachers was all in Some Miserable Infernal Place. I
think he ought to be presented and oncommissioned ! — What
think Ye? I think if ever I saw happy people it was today
under persecution — O the tears, screams, crys and groans for
the wicked it was awful. — I looked out at the window while
I stood at the desk and behold : a poor black bro. lucked me in
the face, with bursting grief tears of blood, roling down his
bruised face, and cryed, this is what I have got for praising
of my dear Jesus. — It reached my poor heart, I beged him to
bare it for Christ Sake, he would Soon (if he was faithful)
be out of the reach of their Clubs — O how can I rest when I
isee my bro unhmnanely intreated. O America, America;
jblood and oppression — will be thy overthrow. So I took
horse for my next Stage — this Evening thro Mercy I safely
arrived there with Several more of the Bretheren. — When
our Horses and bodys was comfortably refreshened — thence
A Journal of James Meaciiam 05
I retired with bro. C. II. & T. C. for private devotion — the
Lord met with us in a sweet manner. — We had a Smart
combat with the Enemy — at last Jesus crowned bro. C. FJ.
with victory — he cryed out Victory, Victory and Jesus, 1
have Seen thee. Let the Earth drink my blood before ever
I submit to captivatee by the Devil. — we still rasled in
prayer to God — in a few minutes bro. F. C. broke thro and
rejoiced in God his Saviour with Raptures unspeakable. —
while the Spirit of victory bid my feeble Soul to fear not —
I felt a little Heaven within — peace sweetly Harmonizing ev-
ery power — O Jesus keep me more humble and give me more
grace, could I find some swifter way to gloryfy my dear
Master — my every prayer diligently be employed to his
New and living work. Supper was set, and then family
prayer. O how Jesuses sweet lovely features attracted my
Avhole Souls attention — I gazed upon him with unspeakable
delight. how all Nature rejoiced with my Soul. I laid
me down to rest with Jesus in my Soul
Monday 31. this Morning I awoked in the sweet spirit of
peace, the first thing every Morning after puting on my
Appal, is to pay my vows unto the Lord. I must now lay
down my pen to prepare for publick preaching. — a few peo-
ple to whome I cryed ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus
Christ &c — a time of love and power among the Christians —
happy class Meeting. I have so often observed the blessed
Effects of the class Meeting that I highly esteem it, one of
the richest pastures we enjoy — it appears if we were not to
enjoy that privilege our people (would) soon be a lump or
body of formality.
A Journal and Travel of James Meacham.
Part II, 1789-1797 *
Thursday, December 3. This morning I awoke in the
hands of the Lord. After family prayer I took horse with my
brother \Y. R. for my next stage (a new place). Few people
were here. I met with Brother T. which gave me some com-
fort to hear from his family. I spoke from I Thessalonians
5,-19, 20, 21. Had little or no liberty and after preaching
rode home with Brother A. Y. where my soul was happy. I
was much fatigued, but God was near. In family prayer I
felt my soul break through. O ! the glory of God, his spirit
it flowed. Took bed happy in the Lord, the arms of love
compassed me around. Remark, wicked man died who was
possessed of considerable property (speaking after the world)
possesses near two hundred poor black slaves, but willed them
all free, and they are now enjoying their right.
Thursday, December 10. This morning I was powerfully
drawn out in prayer after sinners. I begged the Lord to put
it in their minds to come to the house of prayer. This day I
strove to make some improvement of the morning in reading,
riding and studying. A few people, while I was sitting by
the fire in my room, looking unto God, and I felt my heart
burn within. The spirit of the Lord is like the sword, when
it pierces. I received it as a token that God would stand
amidst his people today. In my first prayer, I know not
whether I ever felt a greater agony in my soul for poor sinners
or no. I said "we love him because he first loved us." O !
how near the Lord stood while I was preaching. Happy class
meeting, God was so near and awful to my soul that words
cannot unfold it. I thought I was then a fool for Christ's
sake. I could not sit, stand nor be still for a moment. Heaven
was all around and Jesus within my soul. Happy in my even-
ing's retirement time draws nigh that my poor black brother
* Part I., May to August, 1789, was published in Historical Papers, Series IX. .
Since that publication several note books of the author have been discovered, A'\
which were then not in the possession of the Historical Society. In fact, the MSS. vi
is so extensive that it is impracticable to publish all of it in the Historical Papers. H
Therefore only those entries which relate to slavery, Rev. James O'Kelly, the / I
General Conferences of 1792 and 1796, the author's views of matrimony, and C.
his own marriage are here given. — Wm. K. Bovd.
88 Historical Papers
is to come in. I lay down my all and begin to work for my
dear Master. Many blacks, (I have thought that I could get
more blacks to hear me preach of a night than whites in the
day), I spoke considerably unto them in their different sta-
tions. The supreme power from Heaven came down in the
first prayer, many of the dear souls disturbed but not comfort-
ed, after speaking unto them in general, I separated them and
met my class. I was much blessed while speaking unto them,
joined six or seven. I have had three meetings with them and
have joined twenty-three. By this time I was much exhausted,
but did not lie down until about twenty minutes after twelve.
The arms of love were around me.
Monday, July 11. This morning my exercises are very
many and painful to me, but 1 am fixed to live and die for
God, and for souls. No preaching. I spent the day in work-
ing, and visting from house to house among the brethren in
Hampton. This night my dear, old Bro. James O. Kelly,
came. O ! how unspeakably thankful I was, he brought me
glad tidings. Zion travels and brings forth here also. We had
a powerful time of it in family prayer. My Bro. D. Skinner
came over with them also — a pious man of God. We had
sweet counsel together.
Tuesday, July 12. Bro. O'Kelly preached a powerful ser-
mon from John 9—35-36-37-38. A solid move among the
souls of this people — in the evening we had prayer. The Lord
came and smote sinners to the ground. By this time the
report of our meeting began to reach the ears of the people
who came by dozens, but would not come into the house. Bro.
O'K. spoke considerably unto them, at the door first and then
again at the window, this time was an alarm to this town.
Wednesday, July 13. We, the preachers, Bro. O'K and
Bro. Ellis, took our leave of the brethren for Yorktown. Bro.
O'Kelly preached to a beautiful company of people from St.
James 8-20. Dined with Mr. Messak, gentleman. Then walk-
ed up to old sister Smith's and administered the sacrament.
From there rode to Bro. Wm. Ellis and preached to a crowded
house of people. The people truly trembled, the place v. as very
A Journal of James Meacham 89
awful. Rode from thence to Williamsburg and had rest after
riding forty English miles and preaching twice. Slept in
Thursday, July 14. Here Bro. John Robertson and Bro.
Benjamin Brown. Bro. O'Kelly preached in the capitol to a
numerous crowd of souls from John 1 — 11-12, and wept over
them. Took his leave of them for Hampton again. After I
dined I took horse for my nativity and had some difficulty in
crossing James River, but through Providence I crossed about
half after six o'clock. I rode till within the night to Bro.
Piland's in a surrey. I am very poorly indeed. I am naught
but a poor worm of the earth.
Saturday, August 20. Rode to my stage under many con-
cords of mind. I spake from Revelation 3-21. I had light
and liberty, and was led particularly to explode slavery. I am
poorly and have felt for several days as if every sermon would
be my last, but the Lord doth strengthen me uncommonly.
Rode home with Bro. W. R. — a good place. Dear sister R.
is a dear soul. — Bro. R. likewise. I am happy here, temptations
a few but they are common. Blessed in prayer quiet in public,
the Lord be forever praised.
Thursday, September 1. I am very poorly, though I visit-
ed some of the brethren from house to house, prayed and in-
structed them. In evening prayer-meeting I exhorted. The
Lord brought one soul to the knowledge of the truth. We had
a good time in general.
Saturday, September 3. Preached to a small company of
serious people from Daniel 6-16 — some liberty, good meeting.
Rode to Hampton, prayer-meeting here tonight, a good time
but I am distressed, I am perplexed, anti-pedo-baptists are
after my lambs, they try to steal them from me as the wolf.
They howl by day and by night. I fear I shall be under the
necessity of publicly exposing them, but this is very disagree-
able to me.
Saturday, September 10. My mind is much embarrassed.
I feel my dreariness of soul. I mourn, O! what shall I do
for more of God. Baptized a black woman's child. Who
laughed at me while I was talking to her. I felt rather a
scruple in my mind whether or not I must baptize the child,
considering that it was not legally begotten, and she so greatly
90 Historical Papers
wicked, but she promised me to try and do all for its spiritual
good that she could ; so I baptized it. Rode to Charles City.
New chapel, found a good congregation, to whom I spoke
from Hebrew 11-6. Rode home with sister Sally Drake.
Tuesday, September 13. I preached today at Bro. Power's
from Revalations 3-21. I had a sweet time in my own soul.
Some sinners seemed to be affected, here I received two letters,
one from Bro. Stephen Davidson, an elder, who spoke largely
upon the conduct of a preacher who can give up the ministry
for a woman, and can delight more in a lady's chamber than
in his studies. It struck me with awe. The second was from
D. Suthell, a preacher in the South District of Virginia, who
informed me of Bro. J. N. and Bro. W. H.'s mourning which
pierced me through. Rode and dined with Bro. Atkinson, and
had prayer and rode home with my good brother and sister
Austin where I am to preach tomorrow, God willing. It is
good to be here, no children, nothing to tempt a preacher, but
all to edify him. We had a sweet time this night.
Tuesday, September 20. Not well but took horse for
Richmond to see and hear old Bro. James O.'K. preach. About
four o'clock I safely arrived and found the dear old soul in
his room well and happy (but lost my great-coat by the way)
which is strange to me, when I missed it I did not feel the
least change of mind. I was truly glad and thankful to meet
my dear old Bro. O'Kelly. He is like a dear father to me. We
had a most precious time of it. His large diocese flourishes
generally. Bro. W. H. is certainly broken the law of celibacy.
Well the Lord knows what is best.
Monday, October 3. As I rode to meeting I conversed
with a poor woman of our community respecting her cruelty
with her poor slaves, but could not do anything with her.
She persisted in her own way and testified she would still
do the same if they would not work. I told her if she would
that she might not expect to continue in communion with us.
She said she could serve the Lord out as well in. I preached
on a funeral occasion to a large number of people from
Eclesiastes 9-10. But little impression. Here met me my Dr.
Little and Bro. Christopher Mooring on his way from his
father's to his circuit again, we rode to Bro. William Parish's
and dined ; then rode to Bro. Broddenhaurs. I am not well.
A Journal of James Meaciiam 91
Several came out tonight and Bro. Mooring gave an exhorta-
tion. We had a precious time in mutual converse.
Tuesday, October 11. Rode to meeting and spoke to the
people from Psalms 124-7. No liberty. The people some af-
fected. A good class meeting. Rode to Cumberland and dined
with Mr. Robert Hayes, a good friend to me. This night I
preach to the poor blacks, who hath built there a good meeting-
house, from Daniel 6 — 16. I felt much with and for them,
poor creatures, how affected they were, great power among
them. Their kindness excuses their abilities. How they be-
stowed their presents of pears and apples. I felt the Lord to
be with me all this day. Happy, Happy.
Wednesday, November 2. I rode early to visit the poor
condemned malefactors, three white men to be executed Fri-
day. They are probably distressed, but from what motive I
can't tell unless it is for fear of death, more than Hell. It is
truly lamentable that men will serve the devil until they end
their lives at the gallows. O ! this gallows repentance is dan-
gerous. Rode from there to my stage and found a few women
to whom I spoke from 1 John, 4-19. We had a good time.
Rode this night to see my old dear Brother B. Weedon, and
found him happy but several of the family sick.
Sunday, November 27. Feel poorly, but set out very early
for Richmond to meet Bro. O'K. where I met with several of
the dear preachers. Bro. W. M. from Amelia, Bro. O. B.
from Manchester, Bro. J. H. from Hanover, we went to the
state-house, and found two of the old clergy, who would not
give place. One of them preached from these words, "Re-
deeming the time because the days are evil." After him Bro.
O'Kelly preached from John 5 — 40. From thence we rode to
Mr. Allen's about ten miles. Bro. O'Kelly preached from
Psalms, 19 — this night, a time of sorrow to me. I am so
needy and have so little.
Saturday, December 10. Rode early to Hanovertown to
Q. M. Bro. O'Kelly preached from Roman 5-14. I con-
cluded with exhortation and prayer, little or no stir among
the people yet. I hope good was done. After preaching we
all dined at Bro. Anderson's. The sisters sent up to know if
we would come down and pray for them. We did so, and
bless the Lord. I thing I never saw a sweeter power in my life.
92 Historical Papers
O how sweet my poor soul was filled. I rolled on the floor,
and sang and praised my dear Lord Jesus. I was happy, hap-
py, happy beyond all expression.
Sunday, December 11. Sweet sacrement. Many people.
Bro. O'Kelly preached. The Lord owned his words, I believe
this night. Bro. O'Kelly and myself rode up to my good old
sister Peters', fifteen miles. This place is good for the poor
preachers, happy in family prayers.
Sunday, December 25. Christmas Day. My poor soul
is pained to hear the children of the devil shooting. Rode very
early to the conference to hear the experiences of the dear
preachers, but it was nearly over before I got there. There
were six deacons ordained, three travelling and three local.
Mr. Asbury preached from John, 4—14. A very great sermon,
indeed I believe it had the powerful effect upon the congrega-
tion. Bro. Marvel gave a warm exhortation. Likewise after
him Bro. O'Kelly. The Lord let down his awful power, and
soon I could not hear him speak, being drowned with the cries
and shouts of the people. Then came on the communion.
Fifty preachers I saw surround the Lord's Table. In this
time a precious dear woman, sister Whitehead, rose up and
begged the preachers to excuse her, she was weak and a poor
woman, but she was awfully impressed with grief and that
was almost more than she could bear up under. She said when
she turned her eyes upon the young sisters and saw them catch-
ing after the modes of fashion of this world which passes away,
backsliding from God and wounding his cause, she could scarce-
ly bear up under her grief, and what was worse than all her
poor dear young preachers, some of them would be following
the fashions of the wicked world that ought to be examples
of the flock. Numbers looking at them and justifying them-
selves by such and such preachers and something else added
with. They would stand in the pulpit and explode the cursed
practice of slavery, and then they themselves would marry
a young woman who held slaves and keep them fast in bloody
slavery. Members who have been professors of the religion
of Jesus Christ for ten or twelve years would come to me and
apparently be as happy as saints in Heaven, and follow them
home and you will see their slaves in the field and kitchens
cruelly oppressed, half starved, and nearly naked. O ! my
A Journal of James Meacham 93
Lord, is this the religion of my adorable master Jesus? How
can I keep grieving over these cruel oppressions who are in
error. And I fear they will be slaves to the devil in Hell
forever. So the dear woman swooned away being greatly ex-
hausted. I hope this lecture may never be forgotten.
Friday, February 10. On my way to Hampton I called
upon one Mr. Goodwin, who appears to be under a deep con-
cern for his future state. Told me that he had offered to the
Baptists, and that they thought him a fit subject for their ad-
mission, but upon their asking him his faith, they would not
receive him as he did not believe in Reprobation and Election,
he is very desirous of hearing of us preach. I rode to Hamp-
ton. I found my old pain to return, the Lord assist me to
bear up and not give way to over much sorrow. But I am of
that spirit and nature, I cannot help it ; it appears sometimes
as if it would be my ruin ; but I try to trust in the Lord, may I
continue so to do all my days.
Wednesday, February 22. This morning I arose and paid
homage to the Great I Am. I felt his divine presence, — after
prayer in the family I rode to my stage and found a pretty con-
gregation to which I spoke from Thessalonians 1, 7, 8, 9. I had
the divine presence of the Lord, the people felt the word, a
precious time in class, my sould was powerfully drawn out after
the prosperity of Zion, — here I and two of the poor women,
whom I suspended yesterday, who informed me, that each
party is reconciled to each other again which gives me un-
Monday, February 27. I feel very poorly in both body
and mind. I have to preach a funeral sermon over two of the
dead today. The Lord assist me to be faithful. Preached to-
day to a large congregation of people from St. John 11, 25,
26, the people seemed effected, this day I saw the covering of
two graves; in about nine days I have stood at the graves of
seven persons, and warned sinners to prepare for the last space
of Eternity. Baptized one child. This night I preach from
Roman 6, 22. The Lord poured out his blessed spirit. The
poor blacks were much engaged. I baptized one child, my
94 Historical Papers
spirit sinks very low at present, but I give myself unto prayer.
The Lord is my only help, Glory, Glory. Amen.
Wednesday, June 6. Rode with C. S. M. to Wm. Arm-
istead's in N. Kent, where we met with a few people. M.
preached about one-half hour to them. We had a sweet re-
freshment in time of class. In family prayer God was with
us in power. O ! how terribly I was impressed with the enor-
mous weight of that gaulding yoke of oppression. The people
below had been alarmed, they say by an insurrection of the poor
blacks on the eastern shore, but on their trial and examination
it appears it was only the surmisings of the devil in the op-
pression. Their conscience must indeed vastly alarmed them,
and represents much shocking horror enslaving so many thou-
sand of poor men and women, that they formed such strong
and plain consequences of the continuation of this cursed cruel-
ty that it was supposed to be then the very case, and so brought
numbers to trial. But what was made appear? Nothing but
a guilty conscience on the side of the oppressor. O ! if they
feel such horror here, what will they feel when stood before
a just God. O! how soon the cursed venom began to fly
against the poor Methodists and Quakers when the report of
an insurrection began to spread. Some were for hanging
the preachers on a tree. O ! what an honorable death this
would have been for a preacher of the Gospel had God seen
Monday, August 27. I preached to a very large weeping
congregation from Galatians 3, 29, and spoke much to the feel-
ing and experiment of the people which greatly effected their
precious time in class. Several subscribed to the petition of
the Humane Society to the Assembly for the gradual aboli-
tion of slavery. I rode and tarried this night with a poor
sick penitent man, whom I hope God will bless with a sense of
his love. I spoke here to the blacks at night who seemed
Monday, October 29. Early we rode to Leesburg and took
some refreshments from thence to old sister Owen's, Meriland
state ; in time family prayers the Lord visited my sould that
I could scarcely stand.
Tuesday, October 30. My feelings have been much hurt
this day by some expressions which dropped from the preach-
A Journal of James Meacitam 95
ers, but I must bear it with patience. We dined this day at
Hues, from thence rode to Baltimore town, and was appointed
to lodge at Bro. Isaac Bassett's with my affectionate Bro. D.
Southall, where we have a little room and bed with other neces-
saries as my heart could wish.
Wednesday, October 31. I have done some temporal busi-
ness and visited some of the preachers. My mind is stayed on
God. I wish to do His will in all things. This night Bro. P.
E., my presiding elder, preached from Amos 2 — 7. Meeting
was closed with prayer.
Thursday, November 1. The Bishops safely arrived and
Conference was opened. Many were the debates, and but little
done. My mind is weary now and what will it be by the time
our Conference is at an end. This night Bro. T. T. presiding
preacher from Kentucky, preached from Ephesians 5 — 8.
Many pointed truths were delivered, a larger attentive congre-
gation I never saw in a town before. I think that the singing
of the Methodists in Baltimore exceeds anything and every-
thing of the kind I ever hear before. It appears to be the
nearest relation to Heaven of anything ever before presented
to my ear.
Friday, November 2. My mind hath been crowded with
the business of Conference. Our business goes on very slowly,
and I am weary. I hear preaching two times every day. The
Methodists in this town are truly remarkable for piety and
Saturday, November 3. Business is yet slow. My mind
more and more fatigued. I heard preaching at the Point this
night from Bro. G. W. from I Tim. 1—15, Bro. L. C. and
Bro. I. C. exhorted. But little good was done.
Sunday, November 4. Dr. Coke from Romans 8 — 16 to
a crowded number of souls at three o'clock, and O'K. preached
to near two thousand souls from "Lord increase our faith."
At six, Bro. H. W. preached to a greater number. My soul
hath heard much preaching, Lord help me to improve.
Monday, November 5. Conference is yet having the debates
now in hand. This debate is — shall the preacher have an ap-
peal to the District Conference if he thinks himself agrieved
by the station which the Bishop gives him. The debate is
lengthy. It has been near twenty-four hours, and not yet de-
96 Historical Papers -
termined. Our debate is still confined, and the time of preach-
ing came on, we all repaired from this house to the Rev. Wm.
Auterbine's church, who is called the Dutch Methodist. After
near two hours' debate, it was put to ballot, and the large
majority gave it to the Bishop. I am but poorly in body or
mind, yet I hope on God.
Tuesday, November 6. The Conference met according to
adjournment. The list was called and business proceeded to.
Bro. O'K. was absent but sent a letter to the Conference, it
was read and many tears shed. A committee of three elders
was chosen, Bro. T. G., Bro. F. B., and Bro. R. S., to visit him
to try and prevail with him to come into Conference again,
but could not. He was pointedly opposed to the Bishop having
that power contended for. It went against him and he has
taken his farewell of Conference. I think my poor heart
scarcely ever felt the like before. I could not refrain from
weeping deeply. I hope God will still direct aright, and give us
our dear old Bro. and good fellow back again. If he comes not
back I fear bad consequences will accrue.
Wednesday, November 7. The house now begins to ad-
vance in doing business. My mind is still pained, but God is
Love. I am given unto my God and His works, but O ! to
what little purpose do I live.
Thursday,' November 8. Our business goes on tolerable.
I am more and more pained, Lord help me. Bro. O'K., Bro.
W. M., Bro. I. W., Bro. T. R., and Bro. R. H. have all left
Conference and returned home. The question is now shall
there be a delegated conference which is only the council bap-
tized over again into a Conference. I hope this motion will
not pass, as I am aware of the result.
Friday, November 9. My soul waits to prove what is that
good and acceptable will of God. This morning the delegated
Conference was put to vote and there was but three votes for
a delegation. I bless my God for it.
Saturday, November 10. My soul waits on Jesus, but not
enough. I feel my body very much disordered, but give up all
Sunday, November 11. I am still in pain, and so little com-
forted at this conference I know not that I shall ever be at
another. I have heard four sermons this day, I am full of
A Journal of James Meaoham 97
preaching, but I fear that I did not digest it aright.
Monday, November 12. Weary and sick, I want to get
away, not because my brethren are not kind to me here, they
are more to me than I could expect. I hope the Lord will am-
ply compensate them for their trouble with and labor of love
Tuesday, November 13. I am still sick, but not weary of
the Lord's service. He is my trust, in Him is my stay.
Wednesday, November 14. I am still poorly and pained in
mind, but to whom shall I go for succor or refuge, but unto
the Lord. This night I heard old Bro. I. Ellis preach a very
good sermon. Here I met with a treatise which I never saw
before, the sin Annanias.
Thursday, November 15. I am fixed to seek for more
of God. Lord assist me in this great work. This night Con-
ference broke. Preaching began at candle-light. Dr. Coke
preached, Bro. Sampson exhorted. The wicked hath a very
fine elegant house sitting within about eight feet from our
meeting-house, they had a great ball this night, but the Lord
broke it up by pouring out his spirit upon the people. Under
preaching eight or nine souls were converted to God and
the ball was ruined. Bless my God for all the good that is
done on earth.
Thursday, March 28. I rode to my old Bro. Edges' in
the neighborhood of R. Creek where I met with many of the
brethren who have separated from us, to whom I spoke from
Jude 19 — 20-21. I had liberty and felt great love to them. I
pity them from my own heart. Well, I am if possible more
than ever fixed to live and die the same in profession the
same as from the beginning.
Friday, March 29. I preached at Bro. Mann's to eight or
nine souls from Psalms 34 — 17, and had the presence of the
Lord ; after preaching I talked considerable with John Chapelle
who is one of the members of the Republican Conference and
preached. He appears predetermined to persevere in his
dangerous practice. I find my spirits very much hurt by talk-
ing with him. We had some close conversations. I wish Satan
may not obtain his ends in these people. O ! My soul come not
98 Historical Papers
thou into their secrets not into their assembly, Lord help me
to bear up.
Wednesday, January 9. About eleven o'clock I set out
for Mr. Almond's twenty-five miles. I missed my way twice,
but safely reached my good Mr. Almond's about the setting
of the sun. I found both he and his kind pardner very unwell.
Here I hear the fatal news which I have for two weeks feared.
All the classes for two weeks round hath met and are prede-
termined not to be governed by our rules of discipline. Neither
to accept of us the travelling preachers as to govern them, but
hath set apart the first day of March, next, as the time for all
preachers and people who are of a republican spirit to meet
at McGehee's barn in Prince Edward County in order to form
a code of laws to govern themselves by and then to call their
man to enforce their rules and preach unto them. I am in
pain, what to do I know not. They say we may come and
preach to them, but I shall heed them not, neither may I ex-
pect any support from them. This will not do for us. I can-
not feel willing to visit them on those terms. Lord undertake
for us, we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, we pray Thee to re-
ceive us again, must Zion fall, will not the Lord, the God of
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob help us.
Saturday, February 9. I have no appointment to preach
today, but I hope to improve my time, Mr. M. and myself
retired out into the granary, and while we were there, a poor
black man came in and fixed his eyes upon me and said —
"What have you got for me." I told him I had some good
counsel for him if he would but accept of it. He said that
is what I want. So I proceeded to teach him the way of sal-
vation by faith. He stood very attentive, the water streamed
from his poor eyes from three streams. I think his poor
heart was truly sensible of what I said respecting Christ being
formed in him the hope of glory and so he left us begging
Friday, February 22. The Lord is my refuge. Brother
,W. rode several miles with me to direct me on my way to my
appointment, and I conversed largely and freely with him on
many things. He expressed himself as being greatly satisfied
with respect to the relations I gave him of the conduct of the
General Conference. Also we talked on slavery, but he can-
A Journal of James Meacham 99
not see as he ought, yet he is not as many others are, full of
prejudice. I preached today at Mr. Cardwell's to a pretty
serious attentive people, from John 8, 12. I had much comfort
and I helieve the word had effect upon many. The Lord gave
us a divine shower in time of class meeting.
Friday, March 22. I preached in Pride's Church (Amelia)
to a few people from First Thessalonians 2 — 13. I had but
little liberty, yet the Lord was with us in time of class meet-
ing. We had a very happy time here. I heard from the Re-
publican Conference. They have drawn up a petition to send
to William Asbury to have their grievances removed. Gross
inconsistency, after having published themselves in the Ga-
zette as being formed together in a formal protest against
prelatical government and also against William Asbury and his
adherents. Reject the church governments with the preach-
ers, and now to petition that power against which they abso-
lutely rebel is an inconsistency and something which I cannot
reconcile to my reason without an imposition. I tarried this
night at Mr. Good's.
Thursday, Apri. 25. I rode fifteen miles and preached to
the people who have separated themselves from original Meth-
odism from Luke 11-28, but felt as if I had been preaching
to mine enemies. I tarried this night with Samuel White.
His wife is a dear woman. She weeps for poor Zion. She is
greatly distressed because of the rebellious ones, and told me
that she was afraid to open her mouth one way or the other.
Her husband has left us and she is compelled to go with him.
Friday, April 26. This morning I have talked pointedly
to Bro. White. He is a blind man to truth. I opened as well
as I could (to him) the nature and plan of our church from
which he has revolted, but he was dull (or wilful) of appre-
hension, so I left him and rode and preached at Bro. Mann's
from I Peter 3, — 7, 8, 9, 10. I was pointed and wish God
may direct the arrow. From there I rode fifteen miles to
Bro. Reese's but was very poorly indeed, fasting, preaching
and riding so far greatly effects my head and nerves. My
poor soul feels barren and empty.
Tuesday, October 11. Not finding passage by water to
100 Historical Papers
Baltimore, set out on horseback and rode till late within the
night. This week I have rode regularly on my way toward
Wednesday, October 19. I reached Baltimore and found
a number of preachers present. My lodging is at Bro. Fon-
ardon. A good man and a local preacher, the Lord be my
Thursday, October 20. Conference met and proceeded to
business. We assembled with peace and harmony. My soul
longeth for the living God. Dr. Coke preached this evening.
Friday, October 21. Our business continues in peace and
Saturday, October 22. Peace overspreads our confer-
ence. May the Lord continue it.
Sunday, October 23. I heard several sermons this day.
William Asbury preached at three o'clock. My soul was filled
Monday, October 24. The Lord, the blessed Lord of the
universe, is with us. O ! may we all keep an eye to His
Tuesday, October 25. Our business goes on but slowly.
My mind is much agitated, but I trust in God, my Savior.
Wednesday, October 26. May this with all and every
other day of my life be for God. We dispatch business but
slowly, but I hope what we do may be successful for the Lord.
Saturday, October 29. The small-pox has broke among
the preachers, May the Lord keep poor me from the hands
of death. I wish God to have my heart.
Sunday, October 30. The Lord is at work. Numbers have
been converted at this Conference. There is scarcely a sermon
but some one is said to find the Lord.
Monday, October 31. I am very poorly in body and mind.
I hear here so many new objects hourly striking my observa-
tion that I find it hard to keep my mind where it ought to be.
The work of the Lord goes on with some regularity and suc-
cess. Many souls have been converted during the sitting of
this Conference. Our next General Conference is to be held
here in November 1800. Perhaps not one-third of the minis-
ters who compose this Conference will live to sit in the next.
A Journal of James Meaoham 101
O! may my soul stay on its guard, and be found ready to go
whenever the Lord shall call.
Thursday, November 3. I obtained leave to leave town
for Virginia, but my beast, not having been brought into town
time enough, did not go out, but I gave myself up to God, and
went and heard Dr. Coke preach a good sermon.
Friday, November 4. I rode out to Sister Dorsey's where
I heard Bro. Watcoate preach, Dr. Coke and William Asbury
exhort. There are twelve of us tarried together here this
Saturday, November 5. I rode throught the federal city,
where I saw part of the capitol, a very fine, elegant building,
but the President's house far exceeded every idea of a house
I had ever seen for fineness. I tarried in Georgtown at Col.
Bell's, where I was very kindly entertained.
Saturday, December 10. I am told that a local preacher has
stopped my appointment for today by reason of a Baptist
meeting in the neighborhood to which he wishes to go, so I do
not propose attending at his house. I went to hear the Bap-
tists myself. If I had have gone by myself I really should
have returned without hearing him preach, as he waited so
very late before he began to preach. One half hour past one
o'clock, however, he preached about a half hour when he be-
gun, it was the same sermon, I hear wherever I go to hear any
of that fraternity preach, a cold dry experience as old as the
first Baptists I ever heard preach. I do not speak with an inten-
tion to ridicule an experience of Grace, but they never go any
further than their doctrine of divinity than to tell out an ex-
perience and then sing. Then all who ever experienced that
straight away to Heaven with fear of falling out by the way.
I returned to Bro. Pritchett's but am very poorly in body and
very uneasy in my poor mind, nothing but the smiles of my
sweet Jesus can cheer my poor drooping spirits.
Monday, January 23. I have no appointment for preaching
today, but hope and pray God to preach to my poor heart and
fill my sould with humiliating Grace.
Saturday, February 10. I preached to a few at Bro.
Meredith's from Psalms 34 — 11, and had a good meeting class
meeting. Am very poorly, but in the evening spoke to the
blacks who appeared happy in God, indeed both white and
102 Historical Papers
black rejoiced greatly so that the noise of joy was heard
Sunday, February 26. We had a sweet time at Sacrament,
Bro. W. preached a close sermon from "And great shall be the
peace of thy children." He beared close upon the practice
of slavery. I expect many were offended. We then rode to
Bro. Paups and rest in the fear of God. I am very poorly in
body, but want more of the Lord.
Friday, March 10. I preached at the place where our
Q. Meeting was. I suppose old Bro. Whatcoate gave great
offense on the Lord's Day at our Q. M. He touched largely
and closely upon the accursed evil and practice of slavery, but
the devil will make a noise when his head is bruised. The
Lord was with us this day, blessed be his name, may the flame
spread through the country.
Monday, June 5. Many are my afflictions but I hope out
of them all God will deliver me. This blessed night about
nine o'clock I was united in wedlock to Miss Polly Seward,
daughter of John Seward, of Brunswick, state of Virginia,
by the Rev. John Easter. I think God has owned this union
which was so sealed with the solemn ceremony. Bro. W.
Spencer, whom I call Jonathan, was so kind as to give me his
company and attendance. We had sweet prayer and thanks-
giving together unto the blessed Lord. I thank my God we
had an answer to prayer. Many shouts were sent up to Hea-
ven. It was a solemn time with me, may the Lord bless us,
and give us the sweet guidance of his Holy Spirit.